|A while ago I said I'm wanting to start a thread on bullying and I don't know where to put it. I think I'll wait for something to come up in the news and put it in switchboard and so today, the subject of restorative justice in schools is reported. |
Independent article on bullying.
Apparently it works much more effectively than the punitive system most schools employ, I'm intrigued and think it could work.
I've been mostly thinking of children bullying other children, although of course bullying occurs almost everywhere all the time between adults, whether at work, home, the pub or the internet.
On the other hand, except for the army it seems school is the biggest breeding ground for the bully, the page listing child suicides due to bullying at Bullyonline.org is about fifty times as long as the page listing adult bullycides. I'm not going to get too graphic but this is a typical example;
Sisters Samantha and Michaela Kendal are so taunted and bullied about their overweight they go on hunger strike ... both died
Children starving themselves to death is not acceptable. A culture that tolerates bullying is unacceptable. I'm sure oppressed minorities and victims of prejudice are over-represented in bullying statistics, and in my opinion a society where adults don't get hassled for being different is much easier to attain if we have a world where children aren't hassled for being different.
So, what do you think? How do we get from a time when the fat/gay/short/tall/foreign/poor/rich/clever/stupid kid commits suicide due to constant persecution, to a time when bullying is stamped out and children don't feel they have to electrocute themselves by throwing a copper wire over the live lines of the local railway track to escape.
(If there's interest I'm thinking of a Headshop thread on restorative justice, incidentally, as it's getting more and more support as a supplement to the Victorian penal system we seem to have.)